No, it’s not just you, this is more rain than normal!

March 31, 2012

If you’re new to western Oregon, you just experienced the Pineapple Express!  It’s when warm tropical moisture streams right into western Oregon, providing what seems to be never ending rain.

Eugene picked up 2.55 inches of rain over the past 72 hours!

March, 2012 will go down as the 6th wettest March on record, and those records go back to the late 1800s. We’ve also seen nine more inches of rain so far this year, compared to this time last year.

Typically in March we see about five inches of rain.  This year, we’ve seen almost 10!

I’ll post the full March summary on Monday.


More Rain, High Winds and Mountain Snow on the Way

March 13, 2012

Meteorologist Melissa Frey’s Weather Discussion:

The high winds and snow have tapered off, but we’re not out of the woods just yet…the rest of this week it’s not going to be a question of whether or not it’s going to rain, but rather which variety of rain we’ll see each day.

A deep long trough of low pressure will continue to support storms moving through about every 24 hours all week.

Monday night’s storm is now east of the Cascades.  It brought in winds as high as 87mph at the coast and 51 mph in Eugene and then dropped five to eight inches of snow at the coast, and one to three inches in the valley.  By the time this storm is done tonight in the Cascades, they’ll see over a foot of fresh snow. (The full list of snow and wind reports are below)

Showers will taper off today and we’ll see dry conditions tonight through Wednesday morning.  Highs will be in the mid 40s with lows in the mid 30s tonight.

We’ll see another storm Wednesday, this will bring in light rain for the second half of the day.  Temperatures will be slightly warmer with this one because it’s coming more from the south than the north. The coast will see another round of high winds, not as high as Monday, but gusts to 60 mph are expected.

The next storm hits Thursday, this one packed an even bigger punch.  We’ll see another round of high winds for the coast and heavy rain for all of western Oregon.

We should catch a dry break Friday morning before the next storm rolls in Friday night.

This one will bring with it another arctic air mass which will once again drop freezing levels to at least 1,000 feet. for Saturday and Sunday.

Have a great rest of your day,
Meteorologist Melissa Frey
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Here’s the full list of wind and snow reports from the National Weather Service:

LOCATION SUSTAINED GUST REPORT TIME
 --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 LINCOLN CITY,OR (TAFT HS)........NA          87     0230 PM PDT 03/12
 PACIFIC CITY,OR..................44          87     0125 PM PDT 03/12
 GARIBALDI,OR NOS TIDE GAGE.......57          82     1054 AM PDT 03/12
 CAPE FOULWEATHER,OR..............44          81     1133 AM PDT 03/12
 CAPE MEARES,OR...................48          80     1145 AM PDT 03/12
 CLATSOP SPIT,OR..................57          79     0900 AM PDT 03/12
 LINCOLN CITY,OR..................38          77     0136 PM PDT 03/12
 NEWPORT,OR (YAQUINA BRIDGE)......53          77     0412 PM PDT 03/12
 GARIBALDI,OR NOS TIDE GAGE.......52          76     0206 PM PDT 03/12
 MT. HEBO,OR......................NA          76     0150 PM PDT 03/12
 CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT,WA...........60          75     0845 AM PDT 03/12
 MEGLER TOWER,WA..................50          72     0925 AM PDT 03/12
 BUOY 29..32 MI W OF ASTORIA,OR...52          67     0750 AM PDT 03/12
 BUOY 89..85 MI WNW OF TILLAMOOK..49          67     0350 AM PDT 03/12
 CANNON BEACH,OR..................NA          63     0957 AM PDT 03/12
 NEWPORT,OR JETTY (C-MAN).........46          61     0148 PM PDT 03/12
 TILLAMOOK,OR.....................NA          60     0205 PM PDT 03/12
 FLORENCE,OR......................40          60     0340 AM PDT 03/12
 OCEANSIDE,OR.....................NA          60     1248 PM PDT 03/12
 HATFIELD SCIENCE CTR NEWPORT,OR..NA          59     0125 PM PDT 03/12
 NEWPORT,OR AIRPORT...............44          58     0235 PM PDT 03/12
 ROCKAWAY BEACH,OR................NA          56     0645 AM PDT 03/12
 OCEAN PARK,WA....................NA          56     0910 AM PDT 03/12
 TIERRA DEL MAR,OR................NA          53     0104 PM PDT 03/12
 SEASIDE,OR.......................NA          52     0405 PM PDT 03/12
 ASTORIA,OR AIRPORT...............NA          51     1032 AM PDT 03/12
 YACHATS,OR.......................NA          51     0520 AM PDT 03/12
 TILLAMOOK,OR AIRPORT.............NA          51     0155 PM PDT 03/12
 LONG BEACH,WA....................NA          46     0745 AM PDT 03/12
 MARYS PEAK,OR....................55          83     0330 PM PDT 03/12
 NASELLE RIDGE,PACIFIC COUNTY.....47          83     1020 AM PDT 03/12
 HUCKLEBERRY,WA...................NA          54     0711 AM PDT 03/12
 CEDAR CREEK RAWS,OR..............NA          46     1110 AM PDT 03/12
 BLODGETT,OR......................NA          40     0858 AM PDT 03/12
 SALEM,OR.........................NA          68     0109 PM PDT 03/12
 SALEM,OR AIRPORT.................NA          56     1119 AM PDT 03/12
 EUGENE,OR AIRPORT................NA          51     1254 PM PDT 03/12
 FOREST GROVE,OR..................NA          51     0809 AM PDT 03/12
 MCMINNVILLE,OR AIRPORT...........NA          50     0957 AM PDT 03/12
 PORTLAND,OR AIRPORT..............NA          48     1053 AM PDT 03/12
 EUGENE,OR AIRPORT................NA          48     1118 AM PDT 03/12
 MCMINNVILLE,OR AIRPORT...........NA          47     0453 AM PDT 03/12
 SW PORTLAND,OR...................NA          45     1202 PM PDT 03/12
 LONGVIEW,WA NOS TIDE GAGE........NA          44     1048 AM PDT 03/12
 KELSO,WA.........................NA          43     0812 AM PDT 03/12
 HILLSBORO,OR AIRPORT.............NA          41     0927 AM PDT 03/12
 SCAPPOOSE,OR.....................NA          41     0525 AM PDT 03/12
 AURORA,OR........................NA          37     0632 AM PDT 03/12
 OAKRIDGE,OR......................NA          40     0107 PM PDT 03/12

 

LOCATION SNOW DURATION REPORT TIME
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
 TILLAMOOK,OR...............8.5          8 HR        0115 AM PDT 03/13
 NEWPORT,OR.................6.0          6 HR        0102 AM PDT 03/13
 FLORENCE,OR................5.0          4 HR        1205 AM PDT 03/13
 WILSON RIVER, OR...........5.0          24 HR       0402 AM PDT 03/13
 LIVINGSTON MTN CAMAS,WA....5.5          4 HR        0206 AM PDT 03/13
 HAPPY VALLEY, OR...........5.0          6 HR        0609 AM PDT 03/13  
 BORING,OR..................4.0          UNKNOWN     0433 AM PDT 03/13
 CANBY,OR...................2.5          3 HR        0159 AM PDT 03/13
 HAPPY VALLEY,OR............2.0          UNKNOWN     0136 AM PDT 03/13
 LONGVIEW,WA AT 1150 FT.....2.0          UNKNOWN     1257 AM PDT 03/13
 CAMAS,WA...................2.0          1 HR        1110 PM PDT 03/12
 WASHOUGAL,WA...............2.0          UKN         0427 AM PDT 03/13
 MILWAUKIE,OR...............1.2          UNKNOWN     0317 AM PDT 03/12
 WILSONVILLE,OR.............1.1          UNKNOWN     0414 AM PDT 03/13
 SALEM,OR...................1.0          1 HR        1225 AM PDT 03/13
 GRESHAM,OR.................1.0          5 HR        0317 AM PDT 03/13
 JUNE LAKE, WA.............21.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 SPENCER MEADOWS, WA.......19.0          24 HR       0400 AM PDT 03/13
 SHEEP CANYON, WA..........17.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 SURPRISE LAKES, WA........15.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 BENNETT PASS, MT HOOD, OR..9.0          24 HR       0335 AM PDT 03/13
 MT HOOD MEADOWS, OR........7.0          24 HR       0400 AM PDT 03/13
 GOVERNMENT CAMP, OR........7.0          24 HR       0400 AM PDT 03/13
 TIMBERLINE LODGE, OR.......6.0          24 HR       0404 AM PDT 03/13
 MCKENZIE, OR...............6.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 ROARING RIVER, OR..........6.0          6 HR        0500 AM PDT 03/13
 WILLAMETTE PASS, OR........6.0          24 HR       0404 AM PDT 03/13
 TOMBSTONE, OR..............3.0          22 HR       0121 AM PDT 03/13
 CLACKAMAS LAKE, OR.........3.0          24 HR       0500 AM PDT 03/13
 WHITE RIVER, OR............2.0          24 HR       0404 AM PDT 03/13       

From Winter to Spring and Back Again

March 9, 2012

Meteorologist Melissa Frey’s Weather Discussion:

When the heat was turned on yesterday, there was no stopping it!  The high temperature in Eugene was 67 degrees!  That’s 12 degrees above average! The last time we hit 67 was 126 days ago on November 2nd.

It was also impressive that we got that warm after starting out at just 27 degrees, just one degree higher than the record low.

The ridge of high pressure that allowed for the warm sunny weather is now sliding east.  This opened the door to a weak cold front that will come in tonight.

We’ll see rain showers Friday night which will continue off an on Saturday.  This first storm isn’t all that impressive, but will set the stage for a long series of winter weather.

The next storm after this one moves in Saturday night/Sunday morning.  We’ll see rain, breezy conditions and cooler air ahead of this well developed cold front.  Also overhead, a long wave deep trough will pull down another round of arctic air, which will drop freezing levels to at least 2,000 feet Sunday and down to 1,500 feet Monday.

It doesn’t end there.  Cold air and soggy conditions will stick with us through Thursday.  A second cold front will move through Monday night and a third Wednesday.  The upper level flow at 500mb will rebound slightly Tuesday and Wednesday which will raise freezing levels, but only to about 4,000 feet. This means the passes will see good chances for snow Saturday night through Thursday.

Is looks like our La Nina winter is pulling though…but later than expected.

Have a great weekend,

Meteorologist Melissa Frey
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Stagnant for now, but could we see snow in near future??

January 11, 2012
Chilly Foggy Mornings and Dry Sunny Afternoons through Saturday

A ridge of high pressure is locked and loaded over the Pacific Northwest.  High pressure clears the skies and blocks other storms from moving in. This will keep out weather pattern stagnant today through Saturday.

Eventually this ridge has to move on and it looks like that will happen Sunday.  The question is, what will move in behind the ridge?

Well I almost cried this morning with excitement as I checked the models…they are starting to align with a pattern that would bring the first substantial snow (yes even to the valley floor).

There is a lot of cold air bottled up near Alaska, and a few storms to go with it.

So, how far south will this cold air go?  How cold will the air be when it gets here?  Will there be much moisture in these storms?  As we refine the answers to these questions over the coming days it will tell us how low the snow level will go Sunday through Tuesday.

If everything stays as it is projected now then we would see the snow levels drop to at least 1,000 feet and possibly lower.  We would see period of snow to the valley floor over that 72 hour period with substantial snow in the Cascades. A lot could change between now and then, so stay tuned! 🙂

~Melissa

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Icy Arctic Air On The Move?

January 9, 2012

The number one question from viewers this winter has been “Where’s winter??”  Typically, we should be in the middle of the wet season- days of rain and mountain snow with ferocious winds along the coast. Not this year. In fact, last month almost set the all-time driest December on record. Until Dec. 27th, we had only received 0.26″ of rain for the entire month! The last week however, we made up nearly 4.50″ of rain in about three days. And most of that was rain all the way up in the mountains as well, leaving ski resorts pulling out their hair as ski lifts sat in pools of slushy water. So far, through 9 days of January, we’ve only seen a little more than 0.10″ of rain.

So what gives? We’re technically in a “La Nina” pattern which generally for the Pacific Northwest means a cooler and wetter than average winter forecast. We saw that last year with ski resorts seeing record snowfall and being able to stay open, in some cases, almost to the beginning of summer. This year? Not so much.  An important thing to remember is that even though we’re in a La Nina pattern, each pattern (year) can shape up differently than the previous ones. It can be difficult to say because we were so wet & snowy last year, it’ll repeat this year.

So what else can we use to try and peek into any potential future frosty forecast? One very useful tool is the Arctic Oscillation (AO):

Roughly put- it is a measure of pressure tendencies in the Arctic.  Pressure changes in the Arctic can have an effect on weather changes thousands of miles away, even here in the Northwest.  When the AO is trending positive (like in December), the cold Arctic air is locked up in the highest latitudes, which generally means we don’t see really cold and dry air. But when it trends negative, like the red lines are doing in graphic to the left, it creates sharp rises and falls in the jet stream and allows the bitterly cold North Pole air to plunge southward into much of North America.  A great example of this is last winter when both Washington DC and New York were blasted with over 20 inches of snow on two separate storms. Both of those storms came during a strongly negative AO index.

 

The graphic above shows the AO index from Sept. 2010 to now. As you can see, the closer the red lines are together in unison, the more the model runs are in agreement, and thus the more reliable that data is to be accurate.  So if we test it against another long-range model, here’s a snapshot of the EURO 8-10 day ensemble:

The EURO (on the left) backs up the idea of a big High pressure center setting up in the Arctic circle. This would buckle the jet stream and send the cold, dry air southward. The model on the right (GFS) shows that cold air blasting into the Midwest and Northeast. While the other slams it into us. IF and this is all still speculation to some degree,  we see that airmass headed for us, then we can expect a sharp drop in temperatures and any storms that hit us will bring plenty of mountain snow and likely chances for very low elevation snow and ice. Interesting to see if it pans out, so far, I’m betting that it will. Someone over the next two weeks is gonna freeze, let’s see who wins out …

 

-Chief Meteorologist, Justin Stapleton

 


Rain Watch 2011

December 23, 2011
Melissa Frey’s Forecast Discussion

Is this Oregon? Is this December? You wouldn’t know it by looking outside!  Brookings has made it into the 60s five of the last six days, Coos Bay has only seen .04″ of rain and Eugene only .15″.

Typically Eugene gets about 8.61 inches of rainfall in December.  The record driest December was in 1976 when we only got 1.24 inches of rain the whole month.

So if Eugene does not get 1.09 inches of rain in the next 9 days, 2011 will go down in the record books as the driest December on record.  The records go back to 1890.

It’s going to be close.

Today we had the first storm to make it through the high pressure in over a week.  Most of this warm front was chewed up before it got here, we did see the extra clouds and a few sprinkles though.

Saturday the ridge will re-form and we’ll be back to mild weather.

At this point we’ll be down to just 7 days left in December, but this last week will most likely be the most active of the month.

The first storm to potentially bring rain and mountain snow will move in Christmas day.  The freezing level will drop to about 5,500 feet and we should see rain in the valley for the first half of the day with snow in the higher peaks.

Monday is looking pretty mild, but Tuesday through Friday are looking very active.  So we have a good shot at making it, but either way this will go down as one of the driest Decembers recorded.

Merry Christmas!

Meteorologist Melissa Frey

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Winter is Just Two Days Away…Will it Look Like it?

December 19, 2011

The first day of winter is just two days away, but looking out the window you wouldn’t necessarily know it.  We’re over four and a half inches below average for rainfall on the month and about five degrees below average temperature-wise.

This week isn’t bringing much in terms of winter weather.  High pressure will strengthen Monday and Tuesday, leaving us with mostly sunny skies, fog in the valley and temperatures in the low to mid 40s during the day and low 30s overnight.

A weak storm will move through Wednesday morning.  This will bring in increased cloud cover and a chance for a few light showers.  (similar to what we saw on Sunday)

The ridge of high pressure will regain control for Thursday, leaving the valley foggy and cool and the rest of the state mostly sunny.

Another storm will move in Friday bringing a better chance for widespread rain.

It doesn’t look like we’ll see a white Christmas this year.  At this point it’s looking dry and possibly foggy.  At least it’ll be an easy commute for holiday travelers :-).

Have a great Monday!

Meteorologist Melissa Frey